Samsung Curved TV: “Changes Everything”

COMMERCIAL
ROLE: Senior Flame Artist / VFX Compositor
VENDOR: The Mission
AGENCY: 72andSunny
DIRECTOR: Rian Johnson

“Last Jedi” and “Looper” director Rian Johnson crafts this clever homage to memorable motion picture moments for the debut of Samsung’s Curved TV.

I still enjoy watching this spot today. Each clip is perfectly curated to tell this somewhat magical narrative. It has that spirit of 80s blockbuster summer films, even though it pulls from old and new alike.

My one memory, while working on the many screen comps, clean-ups, and product beauty, was watching Samsung not even flinch, when George Clooney asked for a million dollars to use a clip from “Gravity,” which had a whopping 8 words (not lines) of dialogue.

Anyway, my other takeaway was that curved screens are a bitch to track and comp in 2D. I also assembled the CG endtag of the curved TV.

Samsung: “Amazing Things Happen: You Need to See This”

LONG-FORM COMMERCIAL
ROLE: Lead Flame Artist / VFX Compositor
VENDOR: The Mission
AGENCY: 72andSunny
DIRECTOR: James Mangold

I don’t recall a whole heck of a lot about this spot, except having 3-4 days to conform and finish it, so it could air in time for the Oscars. I also recall there being a snafu with the watch geometry supplied by Samsung, which created a few degrees of stress.

As per the norm for these Samsung spots, I handled screen comps, general shot clean-up, and the CG end card, which used to be twice as long and far more graceful in an earlier rendition. For some reason, it got cut down in the final. Also, there was endless discussion to the layout of all these devices and how much they should each be silhouetted.

Samsung Galaxy: “LeBron Dunk” | “Pencil”


Samsung Galaxy Note 3: “LeBron Dunk”

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1: “Pencil”

COMMERCIAL
ROLE: Senior Flame Artist / VFX Compositor
VENDOR: The Mill
AGENCY: 72andSunny

I clearly recall these two spots being a total pain in the ass. Both were focused on Samsung’s Galaxy family of mobile devices, the former “LeBron Dunk” on the Note 3, and the latter “Pencil” on the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1. And both were poking fun at their main competitor Apple, and their mobile equivalents.

That brings me to “LeBron Dunk.” This was challenging for two reasons. The footage couldn’t be digitally altered in any way, since this was a comparison between the two screen displays. That proved difficult, when addressing content revisions, because both screens had to be reshot side-by-side, on their respective devices, under the same lighting conditions, to uphold the validity of the comparison. And there were a lot of revisions.

I worked on all the wide side-by-sides, as well as the endcard, which featured the only CG element. I also contributed concept work to deciphering the look of the background environment, which admittedly doesn’t look like much. But it took a lot of back and forth to arrive at the given dark nebulous space that appears in the spot.

“Pencil” had similar background challenges. Again, this spot was shot all in-camera. But finding the correct lighting and depth cues to reveal each device had to be refined in post. And the right shade of darkness on the background surface helped determine that.

I contributed the opening reveal, the side-by-side screen comparison, which also had the same complexities as “LeBron Dunk,” and the endcard, which again featured the only CG element.

Samsung Galaxy Family: “Home Olympics”


COMMERCIAL
ROLE: Lead Flame Artist / VFX Compositor
VENDOR: The Mission
AGENCY: 72andSunny

If memory serves, this was one of the easier Samsung spots to work on. It was still a minute long. And the schedule was under a week. But the workload was fairly straightforward. In other words, this was primarily a conform and clean-up job, with a lot screen comps, and a fancy CG endcard. Plus, there was a team of 6 Flame Artists.

I did a handful of screen comps, removed some logos from a snowboard for the downhill rooftop sequence, changed the time of day for the bathtub bobsled ride, and spent the remainder of the schedule crafting the triple product endcard.

Samsung Galaxy Gear: “Santa’s Secret”


COMMERCIAL
ROLE: Senior Flame Artist / VFX Compositor
VENDOR: The Mission
AGENCY: 72andSunny

A humorous take on the holidays, Santa is in full Steve Jobs mode for this press conference parody product reveal of the new Samsung smart watch / mobile device.

The bulk of the work centered on the screen comps, the primary one being the motion picture-sized one behind St. Nick and his elf helper. There was a team of six, so those were split evenly. The main challenge was generating the content itself, which was created in After Effects and Flame, depending on complexity and timing.

Flame also contributed some subtle particle systems to emulate snow falling from the top of the stage.

And I handled the CG endcard, featuring four phones, a stylus, and a watch. When these endcards feature more than one product, the number of iterations can get out of hand. This one was no different.

Samsung Galaxy: “Meet the Note 3”


COMMERCIAL
ROLE: Senior Flame Artist / VFX Compositor
VENDOR: The Mission
AGENCY: 72andSunny

Fairly straightforward yet elegant tabletop product spot for Samsung’s latest (at the time) Note 3 mobile device. This one involved the typical product beauty and rig removal for the phone.

Also, since the Note 3 was still in production at the time of our production, some of the screen content and functionality had to be built through 2D graphics and animation, and thus tracked back into the given shots. Some of that was handled in After Effects, some in Flame. I worked on the stylus functionality shots, as well as the watch.

Lastly, I built the endcard out of multiple plates to ensure proper timing and smoothness of product spin.

Samsung: “LeBron Always On”


LONG-FORM COMMERCIAL
ROLE: Senior Flame Artist / VFX Compositor
VENDOR: The Mission
AGENCY: 72andSunny
PRODUCTION CO: Park Pictures
DIRECTOR: Lance Accord

This is the longest Samsung spot I worked on, during my permalancer days at the Mission. It’s mostly a found footage celebration of then-product sponsor LeBron James, with some original shots peppered throughout, and the requisite endtag product shot.

Being found footage, there was a fair share of cleanup, particularly in the NBA game footage, but also in background signage and product logos. Also, there was a fair amount of screen comps throughout … phones, tablets, flat screens, etc. I was one of six that handled the workload.

Lastly, as was now my M.O., I tackled the endcard, this round being assembled from turntable footage that needed to be rebuilt in 2D to accommodate agency preference. Screen comps, clean-up, glints and glimmers, and a new background space.

Samsung Galaxy Gear: “Evolution”


COMMERCIAL
ROLE: Senior Flame Artist / VFX Compositor
VENDOR: The Mission
AGENCY: 72andSunny
DIRECTOR: Stuart Parr

This clever concept represents one of the earliest Samsung projects I worked on. Admittedly, I’ve never really cared for the smart watch, regardless of the brand, since I’m not the watch-wearing type. But I love the pop-culture references used here, nostalgic reminders of its historical presence, even if its been entirely in our on-screen imagination.

This spot had a quick turnaround, two or three days, if I recall. Each compositor got a watch or two to clean-up, comp, etc. I had Johnny Sokko, which was awesome, so my tasks included rig cleanup and watch beauty. I also had the endtag watch, which added a screen comp to the standard product beauty.